Portable Electric Dog Fence for Camping – Worth it or Not?

Portable electric GPS dog fences are a great way to keep your dog contained while on the go, which means it’s the perfect addition to bring on your camping trip.

Portable electric dog fences are great for camping because they help you keep your dog contained in your camping area, away from vehicles, unsafe land features, and other dogs.

We tried the best portable electric dog fence for camping options – GPS and wireless electric fences. Read on to see our favorites and why they work so well for camping.

Disclaimer

Before opting for a portable electric fence, we strongly recommend obedience training and taking the time to understand and carry out the process.

Training your dog can prevent the potential stress of an electric fence collar, and focuses on positive cues to reinforce boundaries. 

While electric fence collars aren’t physically harmful, for certain dogs they can cause potentially severe emotional distress without the proper training.

This is especially important when using an electric fence in an environment that’s new to your pet.

Brain training techniques are a science-backed way to help prepare your dog for new boundaries without the use of force or dominance!

The Best Portable Electric Dog Fence for Camping

Portable Electric Dog Fence For Camping
GPS fences are best for keeping track of your dogs in a large area.

Our favorite wireless dog fence is the PetSafe Stay & Play.

If you’re in an RV and have access to a 110v electrical outlet, you can plug it in, set up the perimeter and flags, and keep your dogs at your site.

If you are tent camping without electricity, a GPS virtual fence is your only real option.

These are reliable and work via the dog’s collar and GPS satellites, so you can take them anywhere.

Our favorite GPS dog collars are the AngelaKerry GPS Dog Fence System, the BHCEY GPS Dog Fence, and the Tractive Waterproof GPS Dog Tracker.

Choosing the best portable dog fence for camping can be difficult with all of the available options, but we’re going to go into detail over some of the best ones to consider if you’re in the market. 

What is the Advantage of a GPS Dog Fence?

GPS dog fences are portable and come with everything needed to keep your pet contained while camping.

These are not the same as a dog GPS tracker which only alerts you of your dog’s location.

Here are a few things to look for when searching for the perfect portable GPS fence:

  • Make sure it only requires the collar to work – the GPS satellites will lock onto the collar’s signal and create a virtual fence.
  • Consider the range – you can set up a virtual fence that is large enough to go hiking inside, or small enough to keep your dog within about 1/2 acre of your campsite.
  • Consider the ease of installation – you’ll need to calibrate the size of your virtual fence based on the initial location of the collar.

Our favorite electric dog fences for camping work really well for camping or backpacking trips. Read on to see the details and understand why they work so well for camping.

See how a GPS dog fence works in this short video.

PetSafe Stay & Play

We like this fence for use at home and in the RV. It’s easy to unplug it from the garage and pack it in the RV.

Once we get to the campsite we plug it in the RV and set up a small perimeter to keep the dog “home.”

Pros:

  • Quick and easy to set up
  • Works well for RV, van, and other types of camping with electricity
  • Sensitive enough to make a small perimeter at a campsite
  • Can be expanded up to 3/4 acre for larger spots
  • You don’t have to buy a second fence for traveling

Cons:

  • Needs electricity to work
  • You’ll have to flag your perimeter and spend some time training your dog
  • If the electricity goes out, so does your fence

There are quite a few types of wireless invisible fences that will work for camping, but the Stay & Play is our favorite.

AngelaKerry GPS Fence System 

This AngelaKerry GPS dog fence is the perfect option for pet owners looking for an accurate GPS dog fence. 

It has a strong anti-interference ability, which is definitely needed when you are camping around other people who may have devices that can interfere with it. 

It’s super easy to use and overall is very convenient to bring with you if you need a dog fence while camping. 

Pros:

  • Easy to set up 
  • Convenient to travel with 
  • Many sensitivity settings 
  • More affordable option

Cons:

  • Signal can be lost in heavily forested areas
  • Not the best battery life

We like this type of GPS dog fence because you can set up the virtual perimeter and keep your dog around during your adventure.

BHCEY GPS Dog Fence 

The BHCEY GPS dog fence is perfect for a camping trip as it is waterproof and has an extensive range that is adjustable. 

There is anti-interference technology as well, which is great when you’re around areas or devices that might usually interfere with the technology. 

This dog fence has a great battery life and will last you a while, which is essential when traveling at a campsite. It’s easy to set up and really is all-in-one for your dog. 

Pros:

  • Waterproof 
  • Large radius
  • Free warranty
  • Easy to set up
  • Includes overcorrection protection

Cons:

  • It doesn’t come with training materials for your dog

We like to use collars that have overcorrection protection because they stop correcting the dog after a certain number of seconds to avoid stressing or traumatizing the dog.

Tractive Waterproof GPS Dog Tracker

The Tractive Waterproof GPS dog tracker connects with your phone to help you track and keep your dog safe at all times when out and about.

It helps keep your dog contained in a virtual fence while also providing details about their activity. 

It’s a small, easy-to-set-up device that is waterproof and works in all climates and conditions.

It gives you accurate information on your pet without needing a physical fence or tracking system. 

Pros:

  • Worldwide location tracking 
  • Easy to set up 
  • Works with your phone
  • Live tracking on your app with a subscription

Cons:

  • A subscription plan is needed via an app
  • The overall full cost to use is a bit pricey
  • Not best in areas with a bad network capability

We like this collar for camping, but you really don’t get all of the tracking capability when you’re way out in the woods.

However, you can still set up the virtual fence and keep your dog near.

Read our related article, Best Virtual Dog Fence 2022, for more virtual options put to the TEST!

Pros & Cons of a Portable Electric Dog Fence for Camping

Dog wearing a GPS collar
GPS dog fences are expensive, but they work well even when you don’t have electricity.

Although bringing a portable electric dog fence while you’re camping is a great idea, some cons can come with it. 

If you’re on the fence about whether or not you should bring a portable GPS dog fence with you camping, then these pros and cons should help you to make a decision that’s best for your situation. 

Pros:

  • Keeps your dog contained at the campground
  • Fully wireless 
  • Easy to install and set up
  • Give you peace of mind while camping with your dog

Cons:

  • The wireless fence boundary might be too big for your campground area
  • The fence doesn’t keep other dogs out
  • You’ll have to train your dog on their boundaries at the campground
  • The weather and heavy forest can affect the GPS signal

If you simply want to make sure your dog is still around when you’re backpacking, you can set up a perimeter that is hundreds of acres around so your dog can roam without going too far.

Tips for Safe Camping With Your Dog

couple camping with a small dog
Your dog is always by your side. When you’re at camp, keep your dog on a leash.

Keeping your dog on a leash at a campground is a requirement in many places.

Even if you have a portable electric fence, you may not be allowed to use it.

We suggest that you have a backup plan for keeping your dog safe if the site doesn’t work with an electric fence.

Be Prepared 

Coming to the campground prepared is our number one tip because this will make your life easier in all ways.

Making sure to bring things like food bowls, medications, and treats is important. You can even bring the dog their own tent. 

Be Wary of Bugs

Insects of all kinds like to take up camp on your dog’s back, so checking them frequently for fleas, ticks, and any other bugs can help to keep you and your dog comfortable.

Plus it’ll ensure you don’t bring any new bug friends home. 

Read More: Best Flea Shampoo for Dogs. If fleas and ticks happen to catch a ride on your dog, these shampoos can help!

Watch Out for Animals

Dogs are very curious, and they love to see what other animals are up to, but not every animal is safe.

This can even include other dogs because you never know if they are friendly or not. 

Keeping your dog in sight at all times and looking ahead of them should keep you one step ahead of your dog. 

Consider getting a collar with a recall button and field training your dog before you go on a long expedition.

Get Familiar With the Rules

Sometimes campgrounds have certain rules that might pertain to your furry friend. 

Your dog will have to be on a leash when you’re walking (we recommend a dog head halter for better control), but some require that the dog is on-leash at all times.

It’s important to know what the campground rules are to ensure that you and your dog aren’t breaking any of them, which could keep you from being able to continue your stay there or come back in the future. 

Bottom Line

The type of electric fence that you get to bring camping with your dog really depends on how well trained your dog is, and how big your campsite is.

It pays to do your research before you buy.

You also have to train your dog to stay inside the perimeter, so don’t buy a system and then just take it camping with your dog.

Spend a few weeks training your dog to stay inside the virtual fence.

Then when you go camping you can set up flags or set up the virtual perimeter and your dog will have an easier time understanding what’s going on so it can stay where you want.

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Jesse Hopping, CCDT

Jesse is a natural-born dog-lover certified dog trainer (CCDT), dog foster, and former volunteer at Richmond SPCA and surrounding dog shelters for over 10 years. Her pack includes a Bernedoodle and 3 Boston Terriers. She’s sipping caramel coffee and watching her pack play in the sun when she’s not writing blogs. Jesse has her Certified Dog Trainer designation from CATCH Canine Trainers Academy since 2018 and and majored in English from the University of Virginia.

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